Delores Orr reads a poem written by Dianne Gaertner, whose team was the only one to walk non-stop during last year’s rain-filled relay. Gaertner, who has had several family members battle cancer, wrote, “We walked all night for those who live and for those who are no longer with us.”
Cancer survivors and their families were among those who attended the Fifth Annual Relay For Life of the Rockaways Kick-off Party at the First Congregational Church on Beach 94 Street on the evening of February 16.
“The reason we’re here is because we know we are working to find a cure,” said Joann Shapiro, a cancer survivor and the chairperson of Rockaway’s relay.
Erin Baumann (Erin On The Rox) – whose grandmother had cancer, and cancer survivors Miriam Rosenberg (contributing editor) and Marilyn Kohn (advertising) represent The Wave. Photo by Joann Shapiro
Last year’s relay collected $67,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). During the past four years the relay has raised more than $250,000.
The overnight relay is a nation-wide ACS event. On its relay website, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2005 three million participants in 4,200 communities will raise millions of dollars through relays.
Joann Shapiro, chairperson of the Rockaway Relay and a survivor, explains one of the ideas for fundraising for the event – the sale of purple wristbands (as seen on Shapiro’s right wrist) that reads ‘Celebrate Life’. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg
Shapiro also announced that Peninsula Hospital Center would be taking an active partnership with the Rockaway Relay financially and by providing medical staff at relay meetings.
The relay will be held on Father’s Day weekend – June 18 and 19 – and will begin at 3 p.m. This is a change of format from previous years, so that participants can enjoy the afternoon hours.
Delores Orr (of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce) and Harvey Gordon (of the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula) during the event.
Relay for Life is not just about raising money, it is also about remembering those who have lost their fight against cancer – as well, as celebrating those who have overcome the disease.
Information, such as how to sponsor a participant, sign up to take part in the relay or volunteer to help can be found on the relay’s website www.ACSEVENTS.ORG/ RELAY/NY/ROCKAWAY. The ACS staff partner, Heather Reagan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victor Gabay, a survivor who has been named to head Man to Man a support group for prostate cancer survivors, and his wife Sherry listen to those who spoke at the kick-off party.
|Heather Reagan, the American Cancer Society’s staff partner for the Rockaway Relay, goes over various ways participants can raise money for this year’s relay.
Representing Debbie’s Dream team is Debbie (a new grandmother and cancer survivor), her granddaughter and daughter.
Balloons, cake and a raffle to raise money provided a party atmosphere to the relay kick-off.